Research Article

Observing the cell in its native state: Imaging subcellular dynamics in multicellular organisms

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Science  20 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6386, eaaq1392
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1392

Continuing the resolution revolution

The living cell contains dynamic, spatially complex subassemblies that are sensitive to external perturbations. To minimize such perturbations, cells should be imaged in their native multicellular environments, under as gentle illumination as possible. However, achieving the spatiotemporal resolution needed to follow three-dimensional subcellular processes in detail under these conditions is challenging: Sample-induced aberrations degrade resolution and sensitivity, and high resolution usually requires intense excitation. Liu et al. combined noninvasive lattice light-sheet microscopy with aberration-correcting adaptive optics to study a variety of delicate subcellular events in vivo, including organelle remodeling during mitosis and growth cone dynamics during spinal cord development.

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